During the winter break myLesley transitioned to a SaaS environment and upgraded to the latest version of Blackboard (Q4 2017).
Move to SaaS
SaaS is short for Software as a Service. If you use Google applications or Office 365, you are already using SaaS applications. These cloud-based systems are always available to you and updates happen behind the scenes without impacting your ability to use them whenever you need them.
In the past, applying updates and fixes to myLesley required making the system unavailable to all faculty, staff and students for hours or even days. Moving myLesley to a SaaS delivery model allows us to make updates, apply fixes, and perform ongoing maintenance with little to no downtime.
What Changed in myLesley?
There were no major changes to myLesley. Your courses and the tools within them perform the same way they did before, but with some behind the scenes fixes and updates. However, as part of the update, the "theme," or the way myLesley looks and feels, has changed. And we also took the opportunity to streamline and remove some older legacy tools.
New Look and Feel
myLesley has been updated to a new "theme," which defines the way myLesley looks and feels. This includes the color palette, fonts used, and how items are spaced. This new theme employs responsive design to allow for an improved experience navigating Blackboard regardless of the device you are using. myLesley will automatically adjust to provide you with the best experience, whether you are using a desktop with a large screen, a small laptop screen, a tablet, or your phone.
The downside of this theme is that we have lost the ability for faculty to select a custom color palette for each course. However, you may still add colored menu buttons and/or a course banner to personalize your course or differentiate different sections. See Why Can't I Change the Color of my Course Menu? for more information and detailed instructions.
Updated Assignment Grading Tool
The new assignment grading tool, New Box View, is now available in myLesley. This streamlined grading tool accepts more file types than the previous grading tool and also offers a slightly more streamlined interface. For more information see Grading myLesley Assignments.
Blackboard IM (BB IM)
The Blackboard IM collaboration and messaging tool will be discontinued by Blackboard at the end of 2018. Because the tool has not been updated in several years, we have been pointing faculty and students to other, more modern, options such as Skype for Business and Collaborate Ultra. Collaborate Ultra is integrated into all myLesley courses and Skype for Business is available via your Lesley Office 365 account. Both tools have modern interfaces and mobile capabilities.
You may still continue to use your existing BB IM until the tool is officially discontinued, but you will not be able to create new accounts. If you need assistance switching to Skype for Business or Collaborate Ultra, email eLIS@lesley.edu.
Collaborate Original web conferencing software has been integrated into myLesley for several years. It has served us well, but as a java-based tool it required users to install multiple softwares on their computer, making access a problem. Collaborate Ultra is web-based, much easier to use, and also integrated directly into your myLesley course.
New and Improved myLesley Features
The myLesley upgrade brought with it several new and improved features designed to enhance the teaching and learning experience. These features are designed to save you time, improve efficiency and easy of use, provide a much improved mobile experience, improve accessibility of your content and Blackboard functionality, and enhance assessments and grade capabilities. More information may be found here: New and Improved myLesley Features.
Known Issues and Workarounds
Unfortunately, there have been a few bumps along the road with the system upgrade. These are mostly minor and can be easily fixed or worked around.
Mobile View on Desktop and Laptop Computers
In some cases, people are seeing the mobile view of myLesley on their desktop and laptop computers rather than the expected desktop version. This may be caused by one of several factors, including browser cache, browser settings, or display settings.
Mobile view of a course:
Desktop view of a course:
Because there are multiple reasons why you may be viewing the mobile version of myLesley rather than the desktop version, there is no one quick solution. Below are some of the most common fixes that we have discovered.
Clear your browser's cache
It is possible that you have a setting in your browser's cache that may be causing the issue. See Clearing Your Browser's Cache for instructions. Once you have cleared your cache, restart the browser and try again.
Zoom out in your browser window
It is possible that, at some point, you have zoomed in on your browser's window. This may cause your computer to think it is running on a smaller screen. Try zooming out in your browser window to see if that helps. Zooming out can be done in most browsers by going to the View menu and selecting Zoom Out. You may need to do this more than once.
Try a different browser
In some cases, people have found that the problem seems to be related to one browser. When in doubt, try using a different browser and see if that resolves the issue. Firefox and Chrome are the most compatible with myLesley.
Check your display settings
myLesley functions best when your monitor is set to display above a width 1024 pixels. If your computer or monitor is on a lower screen resolution, try changing to a higher resolution. See the instructions for Windows 10 and for Mac.
If you continue to experience issues, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unable to Reorder Items
Since the recent myLesley upgrade, there have been several reports of issues when reordering content. It seems like this may be an issue with cached content in the browser. The leading thought is that the browser may have parts of the old version of Blackboard cached/saved, which is not fully compatible with the new version. Clearing the browser's cache appears to clear the issue up for most people. Instructions for clearing your cache may be found here: Clearing Your Browser's Cache.
If clearing your cache does not resolve the issue, you may want to try reordering your items using the keyboard accessible reordering option. To do this, click on the Keyboard Accessible Reordering Content button on the top right side of the page. Please note that this button is grey on a grey background and may be difficult to see.
This will open a window, listing all of the items, folders, etc. on the page. Select an item to move and use the arrows on your keyboard or the arrows on the screen to move it into the desired position. Repeat for any other items you wish to reorder. Click Submit to save your changes.
If you continue to experience issues, please email email@example.com.
Kaltura Videos Not Found or Access Denied
In some instances, you will receive a Not Found error or an Access Denied error when trying to access a Kaltura video. In many cases, the video plays for the owner of the video but not for others in the course.
This seems to be an issue with the Kaltura integration to Blackboard. Your video is still available in your My Media. We are currently with Kaltura and Blackboard to resolve this issue. In the meantime, we have identified a couple of workarounds:
- Add your Kaltura video to your course via iFrame
- Add your Kaltura video to VoiceThread and share the VoiceThread with your course
If you need assistance implementing these workarounds, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.